The city of brotherly love is known for cheesesteaks, crazy Eagles fans (this writer is one of them), and – unfortunately – some of the highest car insurance rates in Pennsylvania. Okay, maybe it’s not well known for that last item, but car insurance rates in Philadelphia are drastically higher than the rest of the state. In fact, the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia sports the 5th highest rates on average in the entire nation. But what are the best car insurance rates for Philadelphia drivers?
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Why are Philadelphia auto insurance rates so high?
A combination of factors are in play: Pennsylvania’s unique laws, a dense population, and some of the most accident-prone drivers in the nation work together to jack up car insurance prices for Philadelphia drivers. North Philadelphia is home to the five most expensive zip codes in the state, where the average full coverage premium for a 40-year old male exceeds $3100 per year. Out by Penn State University, the same driver would pay less than $1200 per year. So if you’re looking for car insurance in the Philly area, shopping around for the best rate is an important first step.
Pennsylvania State Auto Insurance Minimums
The federal government requires all drivers to purchase car insurance, but the levels of insurance needed vary by state. To get on the road legally, Pennsylvania drivers must have at least the following coverages:
- $30,000 bodily liability per accident
- $15,000 bodily liability per person
- $5,000 property damage coverage
- $5,000 first-party medical benefits
Luckily for Philly drivers, these minimums are far below the national averages for state requirements. The 40-year old driver from our first example would only pay about $1000 per year if they chose the state minimum over full coverage.
But remember, minimums are just that – the bare minimum needed to comply with state laws. If you’re in a serious accident, your $5,000 in first-party medical benefits won’t go very far and you’ll wind up paying a lot out of pocket. Pennsylvania also doesn’t require drivers to get protection from uninsured motorists, but forgoing such policies could create financial headaches in the future. Full coverage plans offer $300,000 liability per accident, $100,000 liability per person, and $100,000 for property damage.
Each driver and family will have their own needs when shopping for insurance – there’s no one-size-fits-all package. Unless your vehicle is on its last legs, we recommend surpassing the state minimums and purchasing collision coverage and comprehensive insurance.
What Factors Decide My Car Insurance Rate?
How much you pay for cheap car insurance in Philadelphia depends on more factors than just your home zip code. Insurance companies determine your rate by calculating how risky it is to insure you as a motorist (ie. the likelihood that you’ll need to file a claim). Here are a few factors that go into their equation:
- Age – Younger drivers pay more on average.
- Gender – Women tend to get better rates than men.
- Credit Score – Yep, bad credit affects your car insurance rates too.
- Type of vehicle – If you drive a sports car or convertible, you’ll be more expensive to insure than someone who drives a sedan.
- Driving record – Accidents and speeding tickets will cause your rates to skyrocket.
No two drivers are the same, so no two policies will be the same. That’s why shopping around is so crucial in pricey areas like Philadelphia. Just because your friends or co-workers got a great rate with a certain provider doesn’t mean you’ll get the same.
Most Expensive and Cheapest Philadelphia Auto Insurance Rates by Zip Code
Philadelphia has some of the most costly areas for auto insurance in the entire state. Here are the most expensive and least expensive neighborhoods by zip code within the Philly city limits according to Carinsurance.com:
Most Expensive: Strawberry Mansion (19132), Haddington (19139), Tioga (19140), Fairhill (19133), East Oak Lane (19126)
Least Expensive: Roxborough (19128), Chestnut Hill (19118), Delaware County (19113), East Falls (19129), West Mount Airy (19119).
Best Auto Insurance in Philadelphia
The following are the best insurance providers in the Philadelphia area on average. Not every driver will get the best possible policy from these companies, but this group is a good starting place for your shopping trip.
Best Overall: Allstate – Allstate has agents all over the city providing customers with a simple and painless experience. Rates are among the lowest for all forms of coverage, including comprehensive and collision.
Most Affordable: GEICO – According to Carinsurance.com, the gecko offers the best rates both for state minimum coverage and comprehensive 100/300/100 coverage. They’re also one of the few companies that doesn’t require you to buy a policy through an agent, which reduces the price. (However, some drivers may feel more comfortable dealing with their own agent).
Best Customer Experience: Erie Insurance Group – Erie won a JD Power Award for the 2019 Insurance Shopping Study and consistently provides high quality service with affordable policy rates.
Best for Veterans: USAA – Active or former members of the armed services can get terrific discounts on car insurance through companies like USAA, which works to help veterans get better deals on insurance products.
Choosing The Right Car Insurance Plan
Shopping for the best car insurance in Philadelphia for drivers can be a daunting task, especially once you begin getting bombarded with calls from overeager agents. Trust me, you’ll want to throw your smartphone into a lake after a while. But before submitting a request for quote, make sure you know what you’re looking for in a car insurance policy. Are you looking for full coverage or just the state minimum? Will you be adding any other drivers to the policy? Are you bundling home and auto? Do you have moving violations on your record? All these questions need to be answered before letting an agent draw up a policy for you.
Philadelphia drivers have it rough. No one in Pennsylvania pays more for car insurance on average, so finding the right provider is imperative to for both your bank account and your peace of mind. And if you’re already insured, it doesn’t hurt to look around for a new policy every few years to see if you can save some cash.
Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
- 1 Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
- 2 ZIP code
- 3 Current Insurer
- 4 Age
- 5 Why are Philadelphia auto insurance rates so high?
- 6 Pennsylvania State Auto Insurance Minimums
- 7 What Factors Decide My Car Insurance Rate?
- 8 Most Expensive and Cheapest Philadelphia Auto Insurance Rates by Zip Code
- 9 Best Auto Insurance in Philadelphia
- 10 Choosing The Right Car Insurance Plan
- 11 Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
- 12 ZIP code
- 13 Current Insurer
- 14 Age